A long, early but comfy train ride from Vienna to Cologne, goes without a hitch. Aside from the fact that I've still got that uncanny knack of packing two weeks worth for five days and curse myself every time I've to lift the heavy time...exactly as I said last time.


Mel & Ulf are bang on picking me up and we head out to see the sights of the waterfront, a possible Tatort filming, a crapping statue and the city mascots Tünnes and Schäl...quickly followed by some wee birthday beers for Mel herself...I find you can easily over do it with the culture.

As it's her special day Mel has organized the nights entertainment, tickets for a cheeky Lisa Hannigan gig at a cozey venue called Studio 672, shite state of affairs but I roll with it.

We head out for a nice meal before the show and bellys full stroll off to the venue. En route we're stopped by a fella in a wheelchair and his pal, asking if we can help them up the stairs, no bother...turns out there's four flights of them...I'm nearly seeing my dinner again by the time the three of us have lugged the boy up and then left wondering how did he get down them in the first place? No matter, a few calories burnt and he's happily home.


The venue is brilliant and Lisa Hannigans show is incredible, those ethereal vocals are blowing my lugs off...I can only smile and let it wash over me from a height. Beautiful songs and arrangements, clever transitions, room sounds awesome and a great band behind it...the set is all done and dusted and we're all left thinking another hour or three would have done nicely. I manage to get a signed copy of her new album and sneak my ugly mug into a selfie with herself, nae sweeties for shy bairns!


A quick blast in the motor and we're off back to Mel & Ulfs for night caps and a couple of couched tunes on the acoustic before sleep is battering my doors down. Great to be back and Happy Birthday to Mel... Zzzzzzz